Reaction to Petters' 50-year prison sentence

Juror Michelle Entsminger
Juror Michelle Entsminger talks to the media following the sentencing of Tom Petters for fraud on Thursday, April 8, 2010. Petters was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
MPR News Photo/Steve Mullis

The fraud case against businessman Tom Petters has been in the news for a year and a half. His sentencing hearing Thursday marked the end of a long road for victims, witnesses, prosecutors and even the jurors who convicted him in December. For defense attorneys the battle isn't over, as they plan to appeal. Here's a sampling of how people who were involved in the case or who followed it reacted to Petters being sentenced to 50 years in prison.

"I just came to get some closure and see if I could see some remorse from him. And again, I didn't. ...I think it was a fair sentence." -- Michelle Entsminger of St. Paul, one of three jurors who attended Petters' sentencing hearing

"We are saddened by the verdict and sentence. There is no victory for anyone when a vibrant young man is placed into a prison cell for the balance of his days and nights." -- Statement released by Petters' attorneys following his sentence

U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones
U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones during a press conference following the sentencing of Tom Petters for fraud on Thursday, April 8, 2010.
MPR News Photo/Steve Mullis

"He built a very extravagant lifestyle on the shattered dreams of others. ... Tom Petters was a fraud. Tom Petters built his life on deceit and lies. And today the check came due." -- U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones, the head federal prosecutor for Minnesota

"Tom Petters didn't just steal money he stole the trust of the community. He's actually made Minnesota maybe even a little less 'Minnesota Nice.'" -- Julio LaRosa, special agent in charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division

"There's nothing to celebrate today, with the exception of: The system worked, it responded to a case that involved significant loss, really incomprehensible loss. ...Apart from that, we have a set of circumstances that are truly sobering and tragic in every dimension." -- Ralph Boelter, special agent in charge of the FBI's Minneapolis office

"It's a very interesting example of the kind of sentencing power that the trial judges have, especially in the federal system. Really it's sort of a blank slate for Judge (Richard) Kyle to decide what to do, and I think he gave a very appropriate and reasonable sentence in this case." -- Ted Sampsell-Jones, an assistant professor of law at William Mitchell College of Law who has followed the case

(MPR reporter Tim Nelson contributed to this report.)